7 Steps To Quality Management In Construction

Date: December 13, 2022

What is quality management in construction?

The success or failure of a construction project is heavily influenced by quality management, which is the project's cornerstone. 

Delivering high-quality work is something that every construction company strives to do because it has evolved into a criterion for evaluating the company and is essential to its reputation.

 

The main benefits provided by quality management.

Construction quality control systems have the ability to expand and open up new markets, leading to expanding business opportunities.

There are additional benefits as well, including lower costs and less waste, as well as increased productivity of workers and collaborators.

 

7 principles of a quality management system in construction.

Consider a new quality-management programme the same way you would any other important part of your company, such as safety protocols, HR policies, financial planning, IT management, etc.

By using this strategy, quality management is ingrained in the culture. However, if you approach your programme as a low priority project, you will receive results commensurate with your efforts. 

Following these seven tips for implementing a quality-management programme will set your projects up for success.

 

1 Define Your Outcomes:

Every construction company has different reasons for implementing a quality-management programme. 

These might include risk reduction, observing client agreements, developing a competitive edge, cutting waste and return visits, and improving profits.

When defining your outcomes, be on the high side of realistic, Don’t buy into the industry misconception that deficiencies are unavoidable. 

This leads to a certain amount of leniency when it comes to inspections and snagging. This approach will never promote a culture that won’t accept second best. 

Your quality targets are reachable if you make a commitment to delivering the highest quality the first time and put in place the systems that will make this possible.

 

2 Determine Your Approach:

You need to start at the beginning, which means you should analyze and evaluate all your current quality procedures.

As with most business processes, there are many approaches you can take, depending on the goals you have defined.

For example, if you want to eliminate return visits, involve construction managers in quality-management processes such as regular site inspections, snag list management, and reporting metrics. 

Based on the results you want, you need to define the roles and responsibilities for everyone involved in the quality-management processes and clearly communicate them to all members of the team.  

 

3 Allocate Resources:

When allocating resources, you need to identify priorities such as staff training to ensure all parties have the skills to perform the tasks required to produce the end result you desire. 

Regardless of the model you choose, the teams doing the work must have the necessary resources to do it effectively. 

If you decide that site staff are performing all inspections, you may need to bulk up your staff count, making sure there are always enough quality inspectors available to deliver the desired quality.

If construction managers are to adopt a larger role, they might need ongoing training, and/or software. One thing to avoid is simply viewing quality management as purely an outgoing cost.

 

4 Hire Quality People To Lead:

When a quality-management programme is being implemented, one of the top-performing managers with knowledge of construction projects is frequently chosen to serve as the program's leader.

Although these people may have the abilities to spot flaws, they may not always have the expertise needed to create and manage business processes and procedures. 

Someone who has management skills, with good technical skills thrown in, would be ideal to run a quality programme.

 

5 Establish Accountability:

When there’s accountability, there’s progress. When no one is accountable, it’s everyone else’s fault.

It’s important to recognize that a successful program should not rely solely on the quality manager. 

Every employee needs to contribute to quality management, whether it's finding ways to avoid frequent errors, conducting inspections, or making sure the quality team has the necessary tools. 

Everyone involved feels responsible for making sure the work is done correctly the first time when you create a culture of quality. 

It’s that ‘quality culture’ that creates the difference between employees speaking up when they see a potential problem or keeping their heads down and deciding, “That’s not my job.” 

Quality is everyone’s responsibility, and it starts at the top.

 

6 Define And Report Metrics:

Defining reporting metrics will help you track progress toward reaching your programme's goals. Your metrics and your goals must be in line for this to happen.  

Using the construction of houses as an example Say your objective is to produce the highest quality the first time, thereby preventing the need for additional visits to fix imperfect work.  

A good metric would be to measure the amount of return visits per trade, or per house  and what that does to the eventual build cost per dwelling. 

If you want to improve productivity, you might track the amount of time required for remedial work, which can also be reported in terms of cost savings. 

Observing how the results of your metrics change over time can be instructive and inspiring. 

When the team sees that their efforts to reduce defects are resulting in measurable progress, they will continue to implement the processes outlined in the quality programme. Skepticism will be a thing of the past.

7 Maintain And Review:

Plan and ensure continuous maintenance and reviews of the entire system

Introducing any type of new initiative takes determination and persistence. Don’t expect to get immediate results.  

The truth is that it takes time to put new systems in place, train people on new procedures, and shift people's attitudes toward quality. 

Consider quality management as a necessary business process, not as an expensive add-on, and always adopt that mindset.

Lisa Carr- Project Manager

If you'd like to see how we can help you create and implement a quality control system please click here to get in touch HCS Project Management

Call 01538 711777

Email hello@hc-services.uk

Meet our team?  https://hc-services.uk/about-hcs/

 

 

 

 

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